Syndie Insider

March in Like a Lamb

Ratings for syndicated programs were mostly down in the week ended March 9, after many season highs during a snowy February sweeps. Maybe because of the Oscars, the two weekly movie-review shows saw an uptick, with Paramount's Hot Ticket up 29% to a 1.8, equaling its highest rating of the season, and Buena Vista's Ebert & Roeper up 16% to a 2.2. Hot Ticket also was up 6% year to year, while Ebert & Roeper was down 4%.

New VP of Ads for CF Entertainment

Darren Galatt has been appointed vice president of advertiser sales for Byron Allen's syndication company, CF Entertainment. Galatt, who joins CF from Carat USA and Universal McCann, will be based in New York. He started in advertising at J. Walter Thompson in 1992. CF Entertainment produces, distributes and sells advertising for nine first-run television programs, including Entertainers With Byron Allen, The American Athlete and Kickin' It With Byron Allen.

Now John Walsh Goes to Radio

Riding high on positive press since the recovery of kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart, John Walsh's America's Most Wanted
has signed an exclusive deal to be distributed on ABC Radio Networks. According to the deal, ABC Radio Networks will distribute 60-second features on breaking crime stories. They will be hosted by Walsh and executive-produced by Lance Heflin, executive producer of America's Most Wanted. Twentieth Television, Fox owner News Corp.'s syndication arm, is handling distribution to ABC Radio. America's Most Wanted has aired on Fox for 16 seasons and has captured 747 criminals in more than 31 countries.

Hearst Sells Movies to Three ABC O&Os

Hearst Entertainment has cleared its movie package Marquee XI in 85% of the U.S., including WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia and KTVU-TV San Francisco. The package comprises 18 films, including Sex & Mrs. X, The Truth About Jane, Custody of the Heart
and Snap Decision; all will be broadcast premieres. Most of the movies were produced by Hearst Entertainment in conjunction with other producers and aired originally on basic-cable network Lifetime Television. TV stations can begin airing the movies starting April 28.